Varanasi will spell Namo once again on May 16th when folks will realise that RSS was behind the road show, they pulled away all stops to show case an illusion. Kashiites want development, a world class tourist city and above all peace, none of which is really a strength or aptitude of RSS. There is a difference between the politics of representation, participation and empowerment. Modi held a massive roadshow in Varanasi on Thursday after the Election Commission denied him permission to hold one of the two rallies in the temple town. The roadshow began from outside the Banaras Hindu University, where earlier in the day thousands of BJP supporters were sitting on a dharna seeking the removal of a returning officer for denying the BJP’s PM candidate permission to hold a public meeting in the city over security issues.
All along the route, Modi was greeted by saffron-cap wearing supporters, who kept on chanting ‘Modi, Modi, Modi;’ flowers were showered, saffron flags waved, same shouted and the same body language, same enthusiasm and just the same memories of Babri Masjid demotion Rathyarta crowd prevailed. Modi had earlier requested his supporters not to chant this slogan, which is inspired by ‘Har Har Mahadev’ — a traditional form of greeting here and used in prayers of Lord Shiva, but supporters were so excited they did not bother much about disobeying their “GODLeader”. The roadshow attracted massive crowds, more than the voting population of Varanasi.
When, especially in Gujarat, when Kejriwal went for road show, a case was registered against him on the pretext that he had more than three cars in his caravan. Everybody has seen Modi’s road show on TV and his other road shows in Varanasi and elsewhere where thousands of vehicles along with people brought from other states are in his caravan. Neither any state government nor EC has objected to this nor has he been booked for it. It is a paradox that BJP leaders are blaming EC for biasness against them whereas the bias seems to be towards them. Are they creating this hullabaloo to hide the unnecessary advantage being taken by them? What EC did was not totally biased. In last 50 years, not even a single time any contestant has been denied permission to stage any rally in his constituency. This is the first time and EC/DM have given contradictory excuses.
Even those who have put the Gujarat development model through the shredder will have to concede that the state does have progress to show off. How much of that can be attributed to Modi could be debatable. But there have been achievements that have been effectively communicated. No doubt the electoral rhetoric has been excessively Modi-centric, yet it appears to be “selling” because it is in sharp contrast to a pathetic performance of a supine Prime Minister who ended up having forfeited all “bragging rights.”
Religion and caste are the reality of India. Every political party take mileage out of caste and religious groups. In our democracy, pressure groups are made on the basis of caste and religion. Brand Modi has been developed intentionally to confuse legal and official machinery on the one hand while to take on the UPA and family generated corruption on the other hand. Again, BJP is put behind not because Modi wants so but because Brand Modi is free from the BJP shortcomings. Infact, this is a three pronged strategy- Modi cries for country and development, BJP fills in the blanks and rest will be done by RSS. To attract Muslim votes, Modi even seeked blessings of freedom fighter Col. Nizamuddin. 107-year-old Nizamuddin, who claims to be a close aide, guard and driver of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Born in Dhakwa village of Mubarkpur area in 1901, ’Colonel’ Nizamuddin was honoured by the District Magistrate Azamgarh on the occasion of Netaji’s Jayanti. According to Nizamuddin, his father Imam Ali used to run a canteen in Singapore and at the age of around 24-25 he fled from his native village here to the country. At that time, Netaji was recruiting youngsters for his Azad Hind Fauj in Singapore and he also joined it, said Nizamuddin. ‘Netaji was impressed with my dedication and later appointed me as his personal guard and driver and for the next 10 years I remained with him’, Nizamuddin claimed. Wherever he went, be it Tokyo, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia or Singapore or planned his moves against the British rulers Nizamuddin remained by his side. The close aide of Netaji claimed that as the British had launched a manhunt to nab Bose, he undertook most of his trips via sea route travelling in submarines. Modi greeting Nizammudin was very dramatic, he touched old man’s feet for camera coverage and as the rally moved further, the old man was left on the street corners unattended.
Anyhow, inspite of all the restrictions, the roadshow was well managed. A lot of money was spent by Modi and BJP and at this rate, only God can save our country from the ills of corruption and black money. If Modi feels mother Ganga is calling him to Varanasi, then why is he also contesting from Vadodara? It’s all political gimmickry. If Mother Ganga has sent you invitation to contest from Varanasi, who had kicked out Murali Manohar Joshi from there? Maiyya’ or mother comes in mind when you expect something and beg for it from mother and not when you were in position to give something to ‘Maiyya’ or mother. The crowd was perhaps more than the population of eligible voters of Varanasi. Or as his man Amit Shah has stated, it was a tsunami with the crowd overflowing from other parts of UP. Do they have an account of how much was paid to this crowd?